There is a term orbit insertion which means a maneuver performed by a spacecraft flying by a celestial body in order to become an artificial satellite.

What word or phrase would you use to describe the result of this process? And from the following sentences, which are correct?

The probe entered the orbit of Mars.
The probe inserted into the orbit of Mars.
The probe was inserted into the orbit of Mars.

1 Answer 1


The probe entered the orbit of Mars would be the correct choice.

Here is an example from NASA's website:

An object's momentum and the force of gravity have to be balanced for an orbit to happen. If the forward momentum of one object is too great, it will speed past the other one and not enter into orbit. If momentum is too small, the object will be pulled into the other one and crash. When these forces are balanced, the object is always falling into the planet, but because it's moving sideways fast enough, it never hits the planet.

Another Example

  • 2
    #3 is a viable option, too. Also from a NASA website: Phobos 2 arrived at Mars and was inserted into orbit on January 30.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 10:42
  • 1
    I don't care for "the orbit", as there are an infinite number of possible orbits. I like "The probe entered into orbit about Mars" or "The probe entered into orbit of Mars".
    – James
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 11:07
  • Also possible: "The probe entered orbit around Mars." --- However, to make a precise technical statement, I like @J.R.'s contribution, and would upvote it as an answer. Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 12:07

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